“When a skater steps on the ice to compete, the nerves, the tension, and sheer suspense of that moment make for great drama.” — Brian Boitano
Everything around me is a blur as my heart hammers against my chest. My mind becomes a coconut, not letting anybody break through my shell, disrupting my focus. A deep voice resonates throughout the ice arena, “Welcome to the ice, Evolution!” Eighteen sets of silver blades cut through the smooth sheet of ice. It is at this moment when a synchronized skater feels reborn.
Ever since I was five years old, I have had my feet on the ice and nowhere else. My older sister inspired my love for the sport at first. There was something magical about the way a she glided ever so smoothly on the ice that caught my eye. She was my role model and I looked up to her every second of everyday. Ten years later, nothing has changed, except my desire, passion and dreams for the sport have grown. When I stepped onto that ice I felt like that little girl skating to “Bubblegum” all those years ago, yet I was faced with the ice in a whole new perspective and love to the sport.
As the blades hit the ice, I felt trapped inside a cage with my “skating sisters” beside me. The lights stared down at me and my body tingled from head to toe with anxiety. “E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N” rang inside my ears as one breath of the crisp, cold air reminds me I am home. Arms hit the opening pose like a statue on display after a powerful loud “HUH!”. The program ahead of me flashed through my mind while everyone is holding their breath. On queue, the music begins. Like the first light of dawn, our dream unfolds.
My blood pumped with the sound of the African beat. Our footwork was clear and precise. Edges were deep, ripping the ice with a soft cracking sound. As the program progressed, I felt the power radiating off of my teammates, like heat from the sun. I felt the journeys we had overcome to get this far, like our hours of intense practice. Cheers came from the crowd as we completed an intersection which only pushed my heart to continue. The hair on the back of my neck stood ready for a war as we approach the all important last seconds in your program. Thoughts of horror such as falling or missing a required invade my brain. But my dreams are too powerful. As the music dissolved, a smile larger than life appears on my face. The crowd jumps into the air and claps louder than I ever heard before. No matter of my surroundings, I only thought about my “skating sisters” right beside me, who helped me reach the top.
As the eighteen pairs of blades skated off the ice, I felt the warmth and suspense. Arms encircled me like a suction cup as we stood as one unit awaiting our marks. The same deep voice returned this time saying, “with a total score of sixty-two.” I jumped into the air with my fist above me, open mouth screaming for joy. I knew inside of me that we skated our absolute best and had no regrets.
We sat scared in the stands, while seven more teams performed in front of our eyes. Each one of them wanting to steal our dreams from us. All fell short except one. We placed second in the United States, which was more than we could possibly ever dreamed of. With that precious silver medal came the golden opportunity to attend the World Competition in Sweden.
The eighteen of us stood on the blue podium unified as one receiving our silver, round medal with skates carved on them. As the medal was placed around my neck and I took one look at my most prized possession, I saw my younger self. Skating just to be like my sister. Now, as I am second in the nation, I skate because it is my life. The ice rink along with my “skating sisters” is what I believe in and makes me who I am. I wouldn’t live any other way.